Health care spending is not sustainable: report


Health care spending could consume almost 50 per cent of provincial budgets by 2030, according to a Fraser Institute study released May 31, 2016. This will trigger higher taxes, larger deficits, and/or reduced spending on other public programs such as education and social services.

The study, The Sustainability of Health Care Spending in Canada, finds that, in every province, health care spending is expected to consume an increasing portion of total provincial government program spending – growing to an average of 47.6 per cent in 2030 from 40.6 per cent in 2015 and 34.4 per cent in 1998.

“Given historical trends, expectations regarding inflation in the future, and an aging population, the status quo on health care spending is not sustainable,” said Bacchus Barua, study co-author and senior economist at the Fraser Institute’s Centre for Health Policy Studies.

The study estimates that by 2030, five provinces (PEI, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and British Columbia) will see health spending grow close to or exceed 50 per cent of total program spending. Only Saskatchewan, Quebec, and Newfoundland & Labrador are expected to be successful in constraining the growth in health care spending.

“The rate of increase expected in health care spending is clearly unsustainable. If governments continue down this path, it will necessitate changes in other policies — either reductions in other spending to accommodate the increases in health care spending, or higher taxation, higher deficits and debt, or some combination of these three,” Barua said.


 2015 (%)

2030 (Projected %)

 British Columbia


















 New Brunswick



 Nova Scotia



 Prince Edward Island



 Newfoundland & Labrador








Canada’s government-run health care system – Medicare -- is a monopoly that prohibits private hospital and private physician care. Medicare is a subpar performer, ranking 10th among 11 advanced countries. Canadians deserve much better! Patients deserve timely access to quality care and choice of hospitals and physicians. Taxpayers deserve much more value for their tax dollars.

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